Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Girl on the Train: Monday, October 10 2016

The Girl on the Train is based on the novel by the same name, by Paula Hawkins. My Book Group read the book in February this year, and were not too impressed. It had the feeling of a contrived best-seller. 

Picked up by Dreamworks and produced by Marc Platt, the film is much better than the book. Directed by Tate Taylor, the film is a highly professional production. The screenplay was written by Erin Cressida Wilson, and is well done. In spite of the good writing, the movie still had the same flaws as the book. Because it is narrated in the voices of the three women characters, it was difficult to follow the plot if one hadn't read the book. The characters are stereotypical, and not fleshed out enough for us to have any real feelings for any of them. I say this in spite of the fact that Rachel Watson, the main character, is played by Emily Blunt. Her performance is a delight to watch, if a little bit dark in tone. But, then, the film is dark in tone throughout. The music was particularly appropriate, creating a suitable sense of menace. 

Haley Bennet as Megan Hipwell, and Rebecca Ferguson as Anna Watson, are both beautiful women. Unfortunately, in the film they look so much alike that it made it difficult to tell them apart at times. Alison Janney as Detective Sgt. Riley, is outstanding, as one would expect of her. The rest of the cast are ideal for their parts, and the acting is of a high standard. The location has been moved from London, England, to Westchester, New York. I didn't mind that, but some people might. I liked the American houses, and the neighbourhood of the action.

The final climax, when the disloyal, cheating spouse receives his just desserts at the hands of his ex-wife and current wife, must be cathartic for the many women who have suffered from the actions of similar men. I'm not too sure what many men would feel about it. 

Altogether, a competent production, perhaps sharing with the book the feeling of being a contrived money-maker. The Girl on the Train was entertaining, and I found I enjoyed the film, much to my surprise. I went to see it simply to find out what had been done with the book. The book has been improved. The movie is worth seeing if you are looking for light entertainment.

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